Sara's Reviews > Bigger than a Bread Box

Bigger than a Bread Box by Laurel Snyder
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's review
Sep 27, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: first-reads, 2011, middle-grade

4.5 stars. I won a copy of this book through the FirstReads program and am so happy I did because it was such a sweet read! Rebecca is twelve when her parents separate and her mom drives Rebecca and her three-year-old brother from Maryland to Georgia to live with their grandma. Rebecca is furious and immediately hates it there because she's separated from her dad and all her friends, and she blames her mom for causing such upheaval. Then, in her grandma's attic, Rebecca finds a breadbox that grants wishes... so long as the item wished for fits inside. Rebecca starts making wishes that she thinks might make her happy - money, things from "home" in Baltimore, food - but the one thing she really wants is for her parents to get back together, and that's not the kind of wish that will fit in a breadbox.

The focus of this story is on Rebecca's relationship with her family. Friends from Maryland are mentioned briefly, and there is a subplot to do with Rebecca's attempts to fit in and reinvent herself at school in Georgia, but these relationships are not nearly as defined or important as the ones between Rebecca and her relatives. The author did such a great job making me care about everything and hoping that things would be repaired the way Rebecca hoped. I really liked how different this book was from many others in that the conflict was mainly internal instead of external - and yet it didn't feel slow or flat because there was still so much going on.

One of the best things about this book was the way Rebecca came to so many realizations about herself, about her family, and about life in general. I found a lot of good quotes in this book that I think would resonate even more with the book's target audience, probably pre-teens and especially those with parents who are separated or divorced. The magic that made the breadbox work was never really explained, but this didn't detract from my enjoyment of the book, as the focus was not on how magic worked but how it was used.

I found this to be a really thought-provoking, sweet book that so many readers would be able to relate to. The author created believable characters dealing with realistic problems; I cared about what was happening, and the story was memorable enough to stay present in my mind after I finished. Although I think the target audience would love this book the most, it's a book that all ages could enjoy.
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